Wednesday, December 7, 2022


 I was watching the Maine Cabin Masters and a commercial came on for the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network.  What caught my eye wasn't the delectable goodies but what one of the judges was wearing:

That tunic is a pineapple quilt pattern!
Turns out, Carla Hall is a quilter and she likes paper piecing!

I made a pineapple quilt years ago.  I don't remember who I gave it to but I remember the weight of the quilt was substantial.  According to Barbara Brackman, the pattern appeared in the 1870s (read here).

The pattern appeared in various forms in the 1930s as well.

But anything pineapple reminds me of what my family referred to as "the great pineapple debacle."  The story occurred in the coal regions of Pennsylvania where my Mom grew up.

During World War 2, pineapple was considered "scarce".  It must have been difficult to ship it to the mainland from Hawaii due to the war when ships could be attacked by the Japanese.

1942 ad, Texas

In addition, tin was being used for the war effort and meant it was scarce to can the fruit.  After the war, Truman lifted the restrictions on tin and pineapple in particular was noted.  

So scarce was the fruit that it cost extra ration points.

When pineapple was available, it was often just the raw fruit and directions for canning pineapple appeared in newspapers.

But I am reminded of the great debacle that occurred in the coal regions during the war.  Apparently a food store (I've heard it was the A & P from most sources) had some canned pineapple available.  So coveted was the fruit that an actual riot of aggressive housewives occurred in the store.  

My family was aghast at this behavior and even my mother who was very young at the time, remembers the grown-ups' discussion.  The event never appeared in the newspapers that I have checked.  It is likely that journalists were concerned that another event like this might occur and refrained from publishing the debacle.

In a way, the newspapers were partially to blame.  All through the war, the recipe sections included pineapple as part of a meal.  Recipes for pineapple that was stuffed, minted, served chilled appeared regularly.  There were recipes for  pineapple mousse, pineapple cocktail, pineapple whip, pineapple cream, etc.  Shortly before we were attacked, this recipe also appeared and I would like to try it someday:

(By the way, Spry is a shortening but in our family we bake only with butter so I will substitute butter for Spry--which is no longer available.)

Today is the 81st anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.  We remember those brave folks who lost their lives that day and during the war.  We also remember all the sacrifices this country willingly made to insure victory during the war.

Have a safe and happy day!

1 comment:

  1. we of a certain generation all remember spry...LOL...great post! cityquilter grace, not anonymous!